In 1963, more than a quarter-million people came together in Washington, D.C. to march for jobs and equality. The Great March for Jobs and Freedom was a watershed moment in black history and—through the now-iconic speeches and multitude who gathered on that day—gave voice to the hardships facing blacks as they sought a fair shot at the American dream.
As we commemorate this event and reflect on the progress we’ve made toward economic equality, we are faced with the sobering truth that, while much has been achieved, so much more needs to be done. A comparison between indicators from 1963 and today reveals the tough work left to do in the pursuit of full equality and empowerment. We looked at educational achievement, income, and employment—those areas where discrimination, historically, has been most pervasive and entrenched.